Windsor Park

Belfast, United Kingdom

Windsor Park

Windsor Park is a football stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is the home ground of Linfield F.C. who own the land the stadium is built on, while the Irish Football Association own and operate the stadium and pay Linfield an annual rental fee for the use of the land on behalf of the Northern Ireland national football team. The stadium is usually where the Irish Cup final is played.

Named after the district in south Belfast in which it is located, Windsor Park was first opened in 1905, with a match between Linfield and Glentoran. The first major development of the stadium took place in the 1930s, to a design made by the Scottish architect Archibald Leitch. It had one main seated stand - the Grandstand, later known as the South Stand - with "reserved" terracing in front, and a large open terrace behind the goal to the west called the Spion Kop. To the north, there was a long covered terrace – the "unreserved" terracing – and behind the eastern goal at the Railway End another covered terrace. Windsor Park's peak capacity in this format was 60,000. In the early 1960s, the seated Railway Stand was built at the Railway End, and in the early 1970s a social club and viewing lounge was constructed in the corner between the Railway Stand and the Grandstand. In the 1980s, the 'unreserved terrace' was demolished and replaced by a two-tier, 7000-seat North Stand. In the late 1990s, the Kop terrace was demolished and replaced with a 5000-seater Kop Stand. The Kop Stand was known as the Alex Russell Stand from 2004 to 2008 in honour of Linfield's former goalkeeper and coach and one-time Northern Ireland international, but reverted to being named 'The Kop Stand' following this.



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